Jun 25, 2013

Travel | Gir in Sasan, Our First Sight of Asiatic Lions in Wild Part - 4

Continued from Part -3
The Safari system is pretty organized in Gir if you have prior booking for the rooms as well as for the safari.
Each safari cost INR 2000 including guide charges which is mandatory. I already read about people facing troubles in sightings lions in shared gypsies with noisy & cramped rides. We did not share our gypsy with anyone and did all are safaris by ourselves.

The booking office opens at 5.30 AM, while th visitors start queuing up for getting the permit as early as 4.30AM.
I was up by 5AM, ordered tea from the cafeteria inside the complex and was ready for my permit. I got the permit at 5.45 AM without hassles as I had already booked the Safari earlier.

We were the first to enter the Gir forest on both the days which gave us an added advantage to spot the lions and other animals.

The drive was filled with spotted deer, Sambhar, Neelgai, peacocks and pea fowls.

We felt a sudden jolt when our driver put a sudden brake and informed us that he sighted a leopard hunting a deer hardly a few meters away. All of us forgot to start our camera and click...we were engrossed in watching the Leapord in hunting pose and the deer standing right behind the bush.
I did try to zoom but my kit lens could not capture those rare moments. Moreover my hands were trembling when the guide said that leopards are more dangerous than lions and often attack humans.
Can you spot the tiny leopard in attacking pose in those dry bushes?

We then saw foot-marks of a pride of lions and started following....

And this is what we saw...a pride of 6 lions. Two males and 4 females, peacefully resting after a hearty meal in night. Two female lions were gorging on the leftover catch.

Watching the king of jungle from so near is really scary....both the children were slightly nervous and kept on asking me to sit quietly and stop clicking pictures...the click sound from camera may disturb lions.

What a majestic walk...The dry forest is a perfect cameo for these lions.

And then came a moment when our gypsy was in between a pair of two young lions who were sitting on both sides of the track. They sat there facing each other looking at our gypsy and giving perfect poses.
My daughter was scared and asked the guide to take pictures who willingly did the job.

The driver then asked us to sit firmly as we had to cross the lions sitting on both sides of the track. The nervousness on my daughter's face is seen in the picture...."Do we really need to cross, can we change track mom"? was her question.

And then we crossed, our gypsy almost touching the lions who looked up and gave a strange look. Mom...camera...click..fast..mom...click.. focus...Ah-oh we already crossed....Huh...
My hands are still trembling when I write about those moments. The mixed feeling of fear, anxiety and excitement is hard to describe in words.
And we had our first sight of the Asiatic lions in the wild!

Our driver crossed the two lions and stopped a few meters away for us to get a better view and take pictures. The male looked majestic with his golden coat glistening with the morning crimson rays of sunshine. The innocent look in his eyes, elegant and confidence posture made sure he rules the forest.

This guy figured out that we are a bunch of crazy visitors and are done with our shoot....and the king finally dozed off. 


This was an amazing experience for children who were still in a state of shock and breathing hard for having a brush off with the king of beast face-to-face.
Everyone who starts off to a wildlife safari has a dream of sighting these majestic animals. Though there are many amazing animals & birds on the way, every eye would still reach as far as the land is seen, head would rotate 360 degrees in anticipation, to get a glimpse of the king of the jungle.
We were thrilled to have come across a rare sighting of a leopard hunting for deer, a pride of 12 lions lazying around after a hearty meal and 2 young lions sitting next to our gypsy.

Pack your bags and head out….Gir is calling…growllllll

PS; I am not a wildlife photographer and my pictures certainly do not justify how majestic and graceful the king of jungle look.

Continued her Part - 5

This is my entry to 'The perfect road trip' on IndiBlogger.

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome photos!!! Loved reading the write-up! Best of luck for the contest! :)